Victoria’s best diversity and inclusion speakers
Choosing the right speakers is always critical to an event’s success. However, events centering around diversity & inclusion carry a particular pressure to have a strong connection between speaker & audience.
The right speakers bring together lived experience, a deep understanding of the issues surrounding this sensitive topic and inspire Australians to be better. The speakers listed here will bring this theme to life with real insight and compassion.
Mimi Kwa has established quite a legacy. As the first woman news anchor of Asian heritage with Channel 9, Mimi has interviewed some of the planet’s most influential people. Her goal has always been to change the fabric of society, and her work as a journalist has allowed her to do just that.
In 2021 Mimi published House of Kwa, a deeply personal memoir detailing her complex and, at times, traumatic childhood and adolescence.
Her speaking style is warm and genuine, and she empowers audiences with her story of success.
Dylan Alcott AO
Australian of the year 2022, Dylan Alcott is Australia’s most successful tennis player and the only male tennis player in history to achieve a golden slam.
While he is now known internationally as an incredible tennis player, he started his Paralympic career in wheelchair basketball. He is one of only a handful of sportspeople who have won a gold medal in two different disciplines.
Not only is he one of Australia’s most successful sportspeople, but he has also founded an initiative for young people struggling to come to terms with a disability. His work in this space has changed the lives of many young Australians.
A successful public speaker who shares his story candidly, there seems to be nothing Dylan can’t do.
Glenn Manton has a unique ability to connect with young Australians. So much so that he has become a first-pick speaker for engaging with young people, something he does with joy and compassion.
Glenn understands that young people need practical ways to support their mental and physical health, and he brings his expertise in these areas to all his conversations with them.
Glenn is a great choice when engaging the nation’s youth. His warm and funny style of speaking makes him an engaging speaker with young and old alike.
Rhiannon Tracey’s life changed dramatically when she developed quadriplegia at the age of 20 after a diving accident in Bali meant that she would never walk again.
Taking this life-changing event in her stride, Rhiannon launched the not for profit The Next Step, intending to provide all Australians with spinal cord injuries the best rehabilitation and recovery options.
With her unique take on disability, Rhiannon inspires and empowers audiences with her zest for life.
There’s little that Sadhana Smiles has not done. She’s a podcast host, an author, Migrant and CEO, just to name a few of her experiences and achievements. Sadhana’s story is one of overcoming obstacles placed in her way because of her gender.
Born to the descendants of enslaved people, Sadhana is now making waves in both the workplace and the cultural landscape of Australia.
She empowers women everywhere to write their own narrative and speaks from a place of true lived experience. Her story is powerful and she tells it with wit and compassion.
Adam Elliot is nothing if not passionate about his work. The auteur filmmaker won an academy award for his 2003 claymation short film Harvie Krumpet, a film about what it means to be different. To make his films, Adam draws on the life experiences of those around him, referring to his work as ‘clayography’.
Adam has built a unique career for himself and his passion for his work shines through when he speaks to audiences. Adamant that he will only work on his own projects, Adam is a great example of someone swimming against the stream
Beau Vernon’s story is one of resilience in the face of great adversity. Left wheelchair-bound at the height of his AFL career, Beau now advocates for other people living with quadriplegia.
Beau has never let his acquired quadriplegia hold him back. After spending eight months in hospital and going through intensive rehabilitation, Beau went on to found Interact Australia. His organisation aims to help Australians living with a disability integrate into the workforce.
His story is one of hope, and it resonates with audiences everywhere.
Tasneem Chopra is passionate about social change. Born in Kenya to parents of Indian origin, Tasneem was raised in country Victoria. As the only person of colour in the area she grew up in, Tasneem experienced what it means to be racialised.
Her work today sees her provide cross-cultural consulting, helping companies to embrace diversity in their workforces. She is a published author, with her work appearing in journals and anthologies. As a keynote speaker, she is accomplished in engaging audiences with deep understanding and insight.
Don Elgin has a unique story to tell. A kid from a country town in regional NSW, Don grew up playing sports of every kind, never letting his prosthetic leg get in the way.
With multiple medals under his belt in track and field events, Don’s philosophy is one of positivity.
He believes his disability has opened doors for him, not just to compete for the country he loves at an elite level but to inspire others with limb differences.
Don tells his story with humour and leaves audiences inspired.
Dr Susan Carland specialises in the modern Muslim experience. Growing up in a Baptist and Uniting Church home, Susan converted to Sunni Islam at age 19 and has spent the years since diving deep into women’s experiences in Islam.
She speaks on subjects including sociology, gender and how these intersect with Islam. She connects with her audience and brings her unique experiences to her talks.
Magda Szubanski AO
Magda Szubanski epitomises Australian television like nobody else. Having graced the small screen for many years as a main character in Kath and Kim, Magda has gone from success to success.
Her public coming out on national television in 2013 saw her instantly become an LGBTIQ+ icon. She frequently appears as a guest on television and currently hosts The Weakest Link. Magda’s unique sense of humour lets her connect with audiences around the country, and she’ll leave your audience with a smile on their face.
Stephanie Woollard’s defining work is Seven Women, a project that empowers women living with a disability in Nepal through trade.
Providing cooking classes to tourists and producing ethically-made goods for both the local and international markets, Seven Women is making waves as a trade-based form of lifting marginalised women out of poverty.
This work has seen Stephanie awarded the Rotary International Responsible Business Award and the Woman of the Decade award. Audiences love her tale of triumph and will leave inspired.
These speakers bring a wealth of lived experience and professional insight into their speaking engagements. Their stories of hope and resilience leave audiences everywhere feeling inspired and empowered. Any of the above speakers can be booked through ICMI. Contact us today to find out how you can make your next diversity and inclusion event come to life with the right stories and speakers.